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Antarctic Treaty

December 24, 2009

Scientists from all over the world recently gathered in Washington, DC to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty.


Celebrating fifty years of icy relations. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

During the height of the Cold War in the late 1950s, the United States, the Soviet Union, and twelve other countries signed a treaty proclaiming Antarctica a scientific preserve. This month marked the fiftieth anniversary of that treaty. Paul Berkman is head of the Arctic Ocean Geopolitics Program at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

BERKMAN (University of Cambridge):
The purpose of the meeting here on the 50th annivesary of the Antarctic Treaty is to look across the first 50 years of this system that has managed nearly ten percent of the earth for peaceful purposes only and consider how those lessons will apply to other international governance systems- today, tomorrow and centuries from now.

He says the treaty showed how even in the most difficult times, the science community can pave the way for international cooperation. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.